Tuesday, July 17, 2018

July 17: Wealth and Greed.

This will be a short blog - if it ever gets finished at all. My computer has been going strange on me. Sites that I need don't respond. A full day of writing I have done has disappeared - twice! I was hoping to get this off on Monday night. But it will be shorter than usual because the part I'm sending has already disappeared twice - so I'm not going to temp fate more than I have to.
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/global-warming-risks-1.4748225

Gee! Who woulda thunk it?

In fact, the risks are immense - and final. So why have the fossil fuel kings refused to pay any attention to this?

Part of the answer is that they are very, very greedy. The other part is that their greed has added stupidity to them. That combination is not unusual in world history, I'm afraid. And every day they delay dealing with climate change is a terrible loss for our chances of surviving what is happening - and for their chances.

And these very greedy people own most of our news media. That why the irving press is not likely to print the above opinion.
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/obama-nelson-mandela-lecture-1.4749819

I don't know what to make of Trump's meeting with Putin - and I find that our news media don't know what to make of it, either. And to read Obama's speech is just to read another example of hypocrisy.

Americans respect human rights??? Like bloody hell they do. Nor, in living memory, have they ever respected them. And they have, since 1945, been the world leader in aggression, mass murder, torture. Nor did Obama ever break that pattern.

As to Trump's meeting with Putin, it is possible that the objective of it was to loosen Russia's ties to China. For American big business, Russia is not the great threat of the future by  domination of the world markets. China is.
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Countries with oil deposits have produced enormous wealth. But it all goes into the pockets of billionaire westerners who have stolen their lands. And any country that resists the billionaires (like Venezuela)  soon find our news media  accusing them of being evil. And that can be followed by invasions by American 'heroes' fighting for their God and country.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jul/16/nigeria-poverty-stricken-families-struggle-survive
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https://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/dyer-trumps-confrontation-unlikely-to-change-china
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Here is a sample of the capitalism that the irving press says makes us all rich.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/17/bezos-becomes-richest-man-modern-history-amazon-workers-mark-primeday-strikes
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Despite the nonsense published in the irving press, billionaires are not our friends. The situation reported below in the U.S. is worse than that in Canada. But Canadian billionaires are working to change that.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/07/16/wages-poverty-america
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It is essential in a democracy for young people, all of them, to have equal access to education. That is a major part of the answer to New Brunswick's problem - a massive social level trapped into illiteracy and poverty. (Well over a century ago, we had met that problem with public education from Kindergarten to high school.  But that was a long time ago and the world is a much more complicated place. Universities are still private, and so expensive as to exclude the majority of children. - As well, universities have not advanced in teaching methods since ancient times.)

And the education crisis is now getting worse in the U.S. as it encourages charter (private) schools.
The results so far show no significant improvement in education. But they do show tremendous damage to the majority of children by allowing government to starve the public school system. And pressure is on for similar changes in Canada.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/16/how-billionaires-are-backing-charter-school-push-ap
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This didn't make the irving news.

https://countercurrents.org/2018/07/17/us-backed-iraqi-government-guns-down-protesting-workers/
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/05/26/incompatibility-of-capitalism-and-life/
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49858.htm
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49855.htm
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Here's a view of the Trump-Putin summit you are not likely to see in any of our mass media. Why is it terrible to meet with Putin? Would it be better to begin a nuclear war?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49847.htm
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49855.htm

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Here is what the American demand that we spend more on defence is really all about.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nato-summit-trump-arms/trump-ready-to-help-some-nato-states-buy-us-arms-idUSKBN1K22US
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Our failure - forced on us by the fossil fuel industry -  to deal with climate change is a stupidity our children will pay for. Already, over much of the earth, nations are suffering severe crop failures because of climate change. And that's not just very foreign places where our racism allows us to not give a damn. It's also happening in large areas of the U.S. and in Europe.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/07/17/trump-kills-science-nature-strikes-back/
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Large deposits of gas and oil have been found in Argentina. And that's bad news for the people of Argentina.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/07/17/oil-underground-in-neuquen-argentina-and-a-new-us-military-base-there/
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We are all immigrants. My family was Scots, French, and further back, Spanish and, even earlier, west Asian barbarian. My public school was English, Italian, Syrian, west European..... (It did not accept Jews, blacks or orientals.) But my high school classes had Jews who would become the major social network for most of my life. My father had a Chinese scout troop that I  helped with (and enjoyed). One of my best high school friends - and still is today - was Japanese. Blacks would later be friends in teaching and in community work that I did.

None of that hurt me. In fact, each group opened worlds to me. Nor were they any inferior to my 'Canadian' friends - who were mostly semi-literate and illiterate  street gang French and English. Indeed, the Jews, Chinese, Japanese, Syrians,  blacks, Europeans enormously enriched the life of this street kid.

Canada is a nation of immigrants. We were built on them. And the only immigrants who did damage to this land were the French and English who destroyed the native peoples.

(I lived in Quebec through the separatist years which were - and still are - a variety of racism. The separatists destroyed my communit(ies) by insisting that all must live in French because the French were there earlier. It never occurred to them that if earlier arrival was the deciding factor, everybody in Quebec should now be speaking the language of the real early arrivals - the Iroquois and Cree and other native peoples.)

Get all the immigrants you can. Every wave has been of benefit to Canada.

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/how-immigrants-benefit-society-trump/

Alas! Here in New Brunswick we have our own racists who insist the only language should be English.

Oh, there are Canadians who say we  have to protect our values. What values? Americans are particularly vocal on this point. Christian values? Hell, Christian values disappeared here a long time ago - if they ever were really here. The U.S. has been murdering people since its founding. It has murdered millions just since 1945. This is a Christian value? Billionaires keep employees in the gutter at minimum wage while hiding their own money from taxation. This is a Christian value?
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https://theintercept.com/2018/07/17/us-travel-ban-yemen-djibouti/

Alas! Trump doesn't like immigrants. He'd rather force them to stay home where American billionaires (you know, people with American values) can work or starve or poison them to death.
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The site below has lots of stories on the Trump-Putin meeting. I don't think we know nearly enough about that meeting to come to a decision. But, if you're a big fan of whatever - check out this site.

http://theantimedia.com/
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https://truthout.org/articles/the-limits-of-green-energy-under-capitalism/
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In any judgement of Trump's behaviour, one needs to remember his objectives. He doesn't care for anybody outside the U.S. Within the U.S., he doesn't care about the American people. His only concern is for the happiness of a small group of multi-billionaires of whom he is a member.

The only reason he has concern for any other part of the world at all is because American multi-billionaires want the profits that can be drawn from the rest of the world.

Well, yes. He also has a great concern for his own ego. All of the above is why I'm slow to react to his meeting with Putin. We have no sense at all of what this is really about.

https://thesaker.is/is-president-trump-a-traitor-because-he-wants-peace-with-russia/
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The following item is a long one. But I urge you to read every word of it. We get very little news of the countries we (the U.S., Britain and, sometimes, Canada, fight.)  We need to get a sense of how brutal and vicious they are - and why we are fighting them

Of all the 75 or so U.S. wars since 1945, only one was legal. (Korea - it was approved by the UN.) In not a single case was the U.S. defending itself from a threat. Not even Afghanistan. That war was fought to add Afghanistan to the American empire.  9/11 was a handy excuse. That's all. But there is no evidence Afghanistan had anything to do with 9/11.  In fact, it readily agreed to hand over Osama Bin Laden to an international court. In fact, the reality is that the country most implicated in 9/11 was that good friend of the U.S., Saudi Arabia.  But the U.S. wanted that war because it wanted Afghanistan.

What the US fought those wars for was not defence. It was for strategic control and for the plundering of natural resources by American capitalists - with a bit of the scrapings for a Britain whose imperial days were over after centuries of British brutality and mass murder for the same reason. These were all wars of capitalist greed, pure greed.

The military who went were propagandized with the notion they were 'fighting for their countries'. And what a load that was. They were bombing men, women and children - killing mostly civilians - in some of the most destructive wars this world has ever seen. Some heroes!

They gassed, mined, poisoned, slaughtered whole nations. And their poisons and mines they left and the disease and the destruction of hospitals and the starvation they left are still killing people all over the world today. Mass poverty, orphans, schools reduced to rubble, nations driven to starvation are the legacies we left. (And Canada did its bit with the bombing of Libya, invasion of Afghanistan and with offering  training to terrorists in Syria.)

Latin America is a continent reduced to dreadful poverty, low, low wages, shattered education, destroyed nations, destroyed democracies. And all of this was done to meet the insatiable  greed of American (and Canadian capitalists.) Cuba has been held down in poverty by American diktat. Haiti's brief taste of democracy was destroyed by American troops. So think about it.

How did Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, Grenada, Brazil, Chile, and all the others threaten the U.S.?

They didn't.

Nobody knows how many millions of people have died in these wars, how many families broken, how many live in misery and poverty and starvation because of them, how many are dying even in the time it takes to write this.

And what's it for? Let's get serious about this. If it were   simply to get,  say, oil, it would be much cheaper and infinitely more sensible to buy it from them. But that's not good enough for the murderous thugs we call big business.

The wars are very, very expensive for us, too. But our big business doesn't worry about that. They don't pay taxes. None. Not a penny. We're the ones who pay for all the destruction and mass murder.

In fact, in the latest version of making us do the dirty work, we are under pressure to greatly increase our military spending. (We are given the absurd line that we need this to protect us from North Korea. The reality is that the country most likely to start a nuclear war is the U.S. And, frankly, any such war would be so destructive, it wouldn't matter what defences we had. We'd all be gone.

The only purpose of increasing our military spending is to fatten the very corrupt  'defence' industries. And to take government spending away from things like medicare. But big business doesn't give a damn about that part. It's bosses, unlike the rest of us, can easily pay for their medicare.

We, most of us, don't really grasp the horror of what we are taking part in. Our big business leaders are murderous thugs no different from Hitler's 'final solution' thugs - except for being even greedier and more destructive. The U.S., with its passion for the biggest prison population in the world, has no problem with putting the poor into prison. But the biggest murderers and thieves in today's world are not people who make minimum wage. It's people who are the leaders of our largest corporations.

As you read the site below, think of the greed that drives our biggest business leaders into mass murder and horror. And think of how we pay for their greed. And remember. They have never shown that they are particular about who they kill.

(Yes. I know this sounds exaggerated. I wish it were.)

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/US_Interventions_WBlumZ.html
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I'll close with just a few words about our very own, New Brunswick source of silly news. One of today's features is a column by a candidate for the provincial government election. It's the People's Alliance and, for it, the big issue seems to be balancing the provincial budget.

Well,  yes, that should happen. But why doesn't the candidate mention that we can't balance it, not when the wealthy make billions, but don't pay taxes? Nor does she seem to have the slightest idea of what our essential services are or should be.

Indeed, this party, like the Liberals and Conservatives, seems to think that running a province is like learning to ride a bike. But it's much more than that. It's about the fundamental principles of what we think government is for. It's not just for balancing the budget or encouraging fracking. It is or should be shaped on social values and the rights of people. I see less than I should of that in the Greens and NDP, but none whatever in the Liberals, Conservatives or People's Alliance.

The Greens are too narrow in their objectives. The NDP is still the wimpy offspring of a socialist party, the CCF which was a party of real, social principles that gave us medicare, among other things. I think there are some social principles in the NDP but, oh, one has to look hard.

Norbert Cunningham has a column suggesting we don't need parties at all. Members should just elected, then discuss things reasonably. He says this worked fine in early 19th century Britain.

Well, duh, through that whole period British elections were corrupt, were effectively controlled by the very wealthy. And those who voted the wrong way could expect to lose their jobs. (That was true in New Brunswick, too.)

Worse, this reflects the view of the People's Alliance that government is like a business, and running it is like running a convenience store. But that's one hell of a shallow view.

It's not just about looking for a candidate who will vote for fixing your local road. It's about looking for a party which has social values that you feel you can share. I have never voted Liberal or Conservative. That's not because they never had people with good ideas. I was a friend and great admirer of Warren Allmand, Pierre Trudeau's Attorney-General. I even knew a couple of Conservatives who were quite decent. But the key to voting is to find a party which has values you share. And most parties don't have any values except collecting election money from the rich.

A rare, good column is by the President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. She wants national pharmacare. Now, that's a social value.

Most of the rest of the paper was the usual mindless and useless trivia. The whole reading of the Moncton Times and Transcript took less than five minutes.


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I've done it! I got to the end. There were lots of wacky problems on the way - but I made it. All I have do now is to spell-check and send this out. Will the computer get me now?


Saturday, July 14, 2018

July 14: Making Canada a better place for billionaires

I was puzzled as I wrote the July 11 blog.  What was Trump doing with his attacks on allies? But a day of thinking it over made me realize nothing has changed.

1. Trump wants more spending on the American defence industry -spending by allies as well as by Americans. The purpose means nothing for defence itself. It's purely to stuff the pockets of American defence billionaires. And that sort of thinking has been common for most American presidents after Eisenhower who saw this coming, and who warned against the 'military-industrial' alliance.

2. As for his criticisms of Canada and Europe in NATO, this is a glimpse of the truth. Canada and NATO were never 'partners' of the U.S. They have always been subjects of the American empire. British business realized that early, as it lost its empire but has since tried to hang on by kissing up to the U.S. and  happily sending Brits to get killed in American wars.

The U.S. intends to rule the world and, right now, Trump is the emperor. He ignores international law. He invades countries illegally. He continues the illegal use of torture. He has, despite his tweets, increased poverty for all but billionaires in the U.S. He gives himself the right to invade nations for no obvious cause. He treats Latin America as a series of slave states - thus the flow of refugees to Texas.  He gives himself the right to dictate who other nations are allowed to trade with. All nations serve only to enrich American billionaires. That's not really a change of anything.

This is really an old pattern - but perhaps made more obvious.
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Here's the real story on what spending more on defence would mean to Canada.

In reality, this is all nothing more than a scheme to put more money into the pockets of U.S. weapons billionaires.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/armstrong-military-spending-trump-1.4743967

Remember - Our service people did not fight and die in World War Two to make American weapons billionaires richer.
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/greenland-iceberg-innaarsuit-1.4744782

Don't worry. If climate change were any problem, our oil billionaires would tell us.
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Making some sort of sense out of the Trump-Putin meeting.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/mueller-indictments-trump-putin-summit-helsinki-concessions-1.4746871
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https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/13/heatwave-sees-record-high-temperatures-set-around-world-this-week

Funny I haven't seen this story in our irving press.
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The irving press is not the only medium that sensationalizes.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/07/world-rallies-around-thailand-children-yemen-and-us-also-deserve-help

One might wonder, too, about the failure of ANY New Brunswick government to meet the intellectual development needs of our children. There is a  high rate of illiteracy in this province which means a serious lack of essential skills and the destruction of opportunity.  And its not the fault of the schools. It's the fault of parents who don't care and governments that don't care.
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The wealthy hate the idea of governments being able to limit their powers. But they pay big bucks to governments that limit the powers of their workers.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/nima-malekis-blog/2018/07/power-concentrated-wealth-vs-working-people
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/07/14/delusions-of-u-s-hegemony-trump-visits-europe/
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The Naziis are back - big time. When the U.S. organized the overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine and replaced it with a pro-American government, it also restored the power of a Nazi movement that is over a century old in Ukraine.

https://off-guardian.org/2018/07/13/meanwhile-in-ukraine/
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And this next is just a break. In the Montreal of the 1950s and 60s, I used to occasionally drop into a bar while looking for a church. The bar was called, I think, the Sahara - and it featured a belly dancer named Fawzia Amir who was billed as a favourite of Egypt's King Farouk. (She was the mistress of a leading Montreal gangster. And the word was that she was Jewish.) But now I see that was not  unusual.

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/egypt/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-secret-identity-of-the-egyptian-twin-belly-dancing-stars-1.6267295
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Quick. Update your Bibles for the REAL truth.

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/jesus-wasn-t-a-refugee-in-egypt-trump-s-spiritual-adivser-1.6267111

Actually, this is old stuff. The Christian churches abandoned Christian principles long ago. For the last several hundred years, they have been the servants of the wealthiest and most murderous people in the world. Think of that while listening to the sermon this Sunday. (It almost certainly won't be about our obsession with killing and greed.)
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49840.htm
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49835.htm

By the way, into the 1950s - and later - Jews were required to live in ghettos in North American cities as well as in European ones. In Montreal, I can remember the signs on apartments that said, as late as the 1970s, 'select clientele only.' (That meant no Jews, no orientals, no blacks.
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49837.htm

I have further comments on this later in this blog.
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Gee! Funny how the  irving press missed this story.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/13/dark-money-new-documentary-offers-close-and-harrowing-portrait-how-secret-corporate

Democracy died a long  time ago in the U.S. Gee. It's a good thing our billionaires in Canada would never corrupt or in any way interfere with democracy.
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https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/13/carefully-calculated-strategy-slash-safety-net-underway-white-house-claims-war

Yep. Trump has eliminated poverty in the U.S. So pay no attention to those silly reports that 40% of Americans live in poverty.
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How the U.S. has brought peace and democracy to Latin America.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/school-of-the-americas-training-torturers-secret-police-for-us-backed-dictators-since-1946/5647471

Latin America is not being developed by Canadian and American capitalists. It is being plundered. That's why refugees flee to the American border. It's the only possible escape for them. If the U.S. were to treat Latin Americans with decency, there wouldn't be any refugees in the first place.
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https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/climate-change-americans-believe-record/

Don't worry about this. If it were true, Mr. Irving would be the first to tell us.
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Another disaster that's going to hit us. And we certainly aren't getting (and won't get) any leadership on this from our billionaires.

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/robot-workers-lead-to-trafficking/
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US big business impoverishes, murders, exploits men, women and children all over the world. Then it blames them for becoming refugees.

https://greedmedia.com/new-tougher-guidelines-for-migrants-seeking-asylum-in-the-united-states/
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https://theintercept.com/2018/07/13/separated-children-hunger-strike-immigrant-detention/

God bless America. God bless American (and Canadian) billionaires. And God forgive Christians for being such a cowardly lot.
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The July 20 edition of our beloved irving press has an item on the commentary page that is pretty awful stuff even by irving press standards. It was written by a podcaster (that's something resembling a blogger like me, but it operates on the web). And, like us bloggers, podcasters require no training and may well have no brains at all. (This podcaster, Bruce Dowbiggin, has won two gemini awards. Big deal. I've won journalism awards too and, trust me, they don't mean a damn thing.)

The title of this gem is "Canadians take U.S. military protection for granted." Aren't we lucky? In fact, since the battle of the Plains of Abraham, over 250 years ago, the only country Canada has needed protection from is the U.S. It maintained schemes to invade Canada at least into the 1920s - and probably still does have them.

And the reality is that the only country likely to attack Canada today is the U.S. as it runs into serious climate problems.

But, says Mr. Dowbiggin, Canada is cheating on its military spending, letting the poor U.S. carry the burden. In fact, the only major military spending we have needed in recent years is fighting American wars in Afghanistan, Libya, and training terrorists in Syria. Those were also wars that were illegal under international law and  had nothing to do with Canada.  Oh, yes. And we also sent 'peacekeeping' troops to Haiti to help the U.S. look respectable while destroying democracy in Haiti.

Nor does Mr. Dowbiggin seem to be aware that the reason the U.S. is pushing for defence spending is to open the door for an astonishingly corrupt American government and military to give lavish contracts to the American defence industry which, as General Eisenhower warned, was a threat to American democracy. (many billions of dollars have gone unaccounted for and the American defence industry has been the major supplier to Muslim terrorists in the Middle East and Asia.)

The U.S. defends us? Anyone who thinks that is either stupid or naive.

Then he goes on to tell us that American military, police and intelligence protect Canadian wheat ships from pirates in Asian waters. Yeah, sure, Bruce.

In fact, most piracy in Asia happens in the territorial waters of Singapore. And those waters are not patrolled by the U.S. They are patrolled by local navies.  As well, the pirates have no interest in Canadian wheat ships. Their targets are oil tankers.

The U.S. navy patrols international waters. And the pirates don't attack those because 1. most of their ships are too small and too lightly armed for work in international waters and 2. the time required to get back into hiding from the open sea would be fatal for the pirates.

Then Mr. Biggins quotes, of all people, The Fraser Institute, Canada's most notorious propaganda outfit financed by billionaires. (Not surprisingly,  the irving press just loves The Fraser Institute, too.)

Biggins quotes from it to 'prove' that Canada's health system isn't working, so Canadians are flocking to the U.S. for medical treatment. Come off it, Mr. Biggins. 99% (or more) of Canadians couldn't possible afford US health care. And U.S. health simply isn't available even to the majority of Americans.

And the reason the U.S. can't afford medical care for its people is because 1. Wealthy Americans DON'T pay more than a trillion dollars of taxes every year and 2. because so much money goes to what Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex. The U.S. is destroying itself by the greed of its billionaires and the corruption of its politicians. The real danger we face is that it will take us with it.

He then contradicts himself by concluding that we should note that we have excellent health care only because the U.S. pays for Canada's defence, and Canada doesn't.

Puh-lease. The U.S. protects our borders? Against???? The only country to threaten our borders has been the U.S. And you can bet that it will soon be threatening them again as the U.S. demands our water and our land. (In fact, the demand for our water has already begun.)

The reason we are strapped for cash is because our billionaires - just like the American ones - don't pay taxes. Would you consider a column on that, Bruce?

No. I didn't think so.

This is a remarkably shallow, ignorant,  madly biased piece of journalistic garbage. It is not possible for anybody to win a major war today. We would all be wiped out within hours. Defence spending is largely money wasted. The day that wars became impossible happened in 1945. And spending more on tanks and bombers won't change that. We have wasted all the years since 1945 in the absurd dream that we could end war by buying more and more powerful weapons. We haven't.  We can't.

And an irving press editor approved this trash column as the latest thing we HAD to know.

Why am I not surprised?
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The irving press maintains its high standard with its big, front page story of the day. "8 year old boy buys SPCA a new lawnmower".

Yes. It's cute. Yes. It's admirable and it's touching. But it's also a partner of the old sob story. It tells us nothing we need to know about this city. It tells us nothing about what problems we must deal with. The SPCA story should be in the paper. But it should not be the big, front page story.
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The irving press, July 14, and more journalistic garbage.

The big news is that a man who drowned 21 years ago has not yet been identified. We needed to know that.

Also in the need to know category are "New bar opens in familiar spot" and  "N.B. pizza joint expands to news city".  The news YOU need to know.

But the real stinker appears on the commentary page again. This one comes from an outfit called Canadian Global Affairs Institute. I don't know how many such institutes there are. Almost all of  then are far right wing propaganda houses financed by the very wealthy.  And newspapers eat them up as of they were real sources of information.

Typically, the intellectual pimps who write for them are given the title of 'fellow' - as if that means something. And some of these 'fellows', I regret to say, are professors.

I first ran into this in my early teaching days when I was approached by oil people to write nice commentaries about what sweethearts they were. Like most professors, I pointed them to the door. But, alas, some professors can be bought. (Without trying, I can think of one or two from New Brunswick.)

This commentary gem is "Experts support joining missile defence system". This system is why Trump wants Canada to expand its defence spending. So, like, we might be helpless if attacked by North Korea.

Get real. Kim Jong is weird. But he's not an idiot. Any such attack could not reach beyond our west coast. And such an attack would certainly get a response from the U.S. stockpile of 6,000 or so missiles. Kim Jong may look weird. But the idea he would initiate such an attack is absurd.

An American nuclear attack on North Korea is far, far more likely. In fact, Trump has already threatened it.

Then the good prof posts the kind of source he believes in. It's the MacDonald-Laurier Institute. In fact, that's just another of the billionaire-funded propaganda outlets that curse this country. And he quotes that the experts interviewed by this propaganda outfit were 90% in favour of creating a ballistic missile defence system for Canada. Of course they were. They were picked by the institute.

Get real. Any missile attack on anybody would be almost certain to trigger a nuclear war. And nobody could win that one. A BMD system would give us no protection at all. It would. though, cost us heavily, having a severe effect on spending for health care, education, social services. And it would mean a massive tax crunch. But not to worry. Our billionaires don't pay taxes.

So why is Trump urging it on us?

Think military-industrial complex. That's what Trump is really pushing. It has nothing to do with defence. It has to do with massive profits for American war industries. That's also the reason he's pushing hugely increased defence spending in Europe. It has nothing to do with strengthening Europe against a Russian invasion.

As it is, the U.S. is destroying American society with its massive military spending. But it's not enough. Nothing is ever enough to satisfy the military-industrial complex.

And why do the editors of the irving press publish this sort of mindless crap? It's because the only function of the irving press is to make this a better world for billionaires.
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Thursday, July 12, 2018

July 12: Lots of news. Little sense of its meaning.

I hurried back from the shore to find the irving press its usual self. It had a big story of course on the 12 boys in Thailand who were saved from a cave. Okay. It's an emotional story.

But there is still no reporting of the hundreds of thousands (at least) of civilians including many, many thousands of children who are being deliberately starved to death by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. So who gives a damn? Right?

I was also struck by a typical irving press commentary from a propaganda house for billionaires - The Frontier Centre for Public Policy. It's a pitch for us to get all excited about natural gas obtained by fracking. This, it says, is cheap, and 'not as bad' as oil. Maybe so. But it still produces carbon dioxide emissions - and there is no evidence this reduction can come anywhere close to dealing with our climate change problems.

Of course, the irving press has told us nothing at all about what the climate change problems are. It's not just a matter of it getting a little bit warmer. It's a problem of mass declines in water for food production, for the grazing of  herds, for drought that destroys cities and countryside of whole regions. (The U.S. is already scrambling hard to deal with drought in much of the country, in forest fires that now threaten whole cities (like Los Angeles), in droughts that already threaten food supply and human survival and create millions of refugees (in addition to the many millions created by western greed) with horrible results as desperate people flee their lands to find some place where they can survive - and finding themselves almost always unwanted.

Expect many, many more millions of refugees as a result of climate change and wars for greed. And expect monstrous chaos from the reaction.

This is putting pressure on Canadian water resources as Americans demand more access to them. We are also likely to face military pressure from the Trumps of this world.

Then there's the disappearance of much plant and animal life as a result of even a small climate change. That's why scientists are now filling massive warehouses with the DNA and other reproductive factors of plants and animals we cannot afford to loose.

Climate change is the biggest and most complex threat this world has ever seen.  And no. Switching to shale gas is not going to help a whole lot. However, it is the largely silent issue of the current election in New Brunswick. Most parties have said they won't permit shale gas development. The Conservatives will.

So guess which party will get the most financial help from the wealthy of this province. It is not a coincidence that the irving press is critical of the Liberals on matters like government spending; but has never bothered to tell us that the Irvings and other very wealthies don't pay income tax and do get sweetheart deals on property tax as well as lavish handouts. It is not a coincidence that the irving press cartoonist lately always makes fun of the Liberals but not any other party.  It is not a coincidence it runs half-wit propaganda columns from billionaire-financed think tanks like 'Frontier Centre for Public Policy'.

(I see no reason to admire the Liberal party, either. It has only rarely attacked this province's fundamental problems. If you owed a couple of hundred dollars in taxes, for example, you would get nasty phone calls from Ottawa. But if you're rich it's okay to hide tens of millions of dollars every year.)
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/greenland-glacier-calving-1.4742691

Of course, we know that climate change isn't really happening. It's all just those
ignorant scientists. But I'm smart. I get all my opinions from the irving press. Irvings are real smart.
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-nato-1.4743670

Why is Trump so eager to spend more money on 'defence' when the world can already destroy itself with just its nuclear arsenals? That's because the world's biggest manufacturer of weapons is the U.S. And it's a stunningly corrupt and profitable business.
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/12/trump-administration-eligible-small-children-reunited

How generous. Only 2,000 more to go.
In fairness, Trump is continuing the mass murder of the children of Yemen.
(I wonder if the hired minister for the week at the Irving Chapel will mention this.  Nah.)
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Another huge problem our governments aren't even thinking about. And it's going to happen here, too.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jul/12/robot-workers-will-lead-to-surge-in-slavery-in-south-east-asia-report-finds
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/12/how-did-quebecs-nationalist-movement-become-so-white

In fairness, I have to say that Quebec, whether French or English, has always been racist. (Just like the rest of Canada.)
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/06/syrian-seeds-could-save-us-wheat-from-climate-menace
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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/11/pietro-bartolo-lampedusa-doctor-migrant-deaths-mediterranean-slaughter-innocents

Yes. This will happen in Canada, too. The western powers have created these refugees, and now abuses them for the mess the west has created.
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The big children story is of the Thais saved from a cave. Let's get real.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/07/world-rallies-around-thailand-children-yemen-and-us-also-deserve-help
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I'm not convinced communism is possible. But I am quite convinced that capitalism, uncontrolled, is quite impossible and ultimately destructive. Socialism may be the best ground.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/gengler/2014/08/ten-reasons-to-smash-capitalism#at_pco=smlrebv-1.0&at_si=5b478f4502265d05&at_ab=per-2&at_pos=1&at_tot=5
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http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2016/10/justin-trudeau-continuing-proud-liberal-tradition-betraying-i#at_pco=smlrebv-1.0&at_si=5b4790a61c96b18f&at_ab=per-2&at_pos=4&at_tot=5
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/07/12/on-the-flooded-thai-cave-and-the-hiroshima-deluge/

Don't worry about a thing. Our oil billionaires tell us climate change isn't happening. And they'd know.
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/07/12/vladimir-putins-basic-disagreement-with-the-west/

Well, Russians have been guilty of imperialism, too - if not nearly so much as Britain and the U.S.  I'm afraid people are like that. That's why capitalism has to operate under much more serious controls - and with far, far less political power.
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The future that big business is planning. And it's not something for us to cheer about.

https://countercurrents.org/2018/07/09/agrarian-crisis-and-climate-catastrophe-forged-in-india-made-in-washington
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The Saudis and United Arab Emirates have always tortured. So it's no surprise they're U.S. allies.

http://theantimedia.com/amnesty-calls-for-probe-of-uae-forces-torturing-detainees-at-secret-prisons-in-yemen/
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https://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/dyer-trumps-confrontation-unlikely-to-change-china
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A Kennedy assassination theory that makes sense.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49828.htm
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It hasn't been noted in our news media but the U.S. has become a country with a very high rate of poverty and with a very few super-wealthy.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49817.htm
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Here's an interesting summary of what  has happened to capitalism, and what that  is doing to us.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49820.htm
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Trump just loves tweeting about how much he's done for the working class. In fact, he is making them worse off than ever.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/11/rigged-new-report-details-how-combined-51-trillion-tax-cuts-bush-obama-and-trump
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The U.S. spends more on weapons than any nation in history. And it is very generous in distributing them to the people they call terrorists.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/even-more-us-made-anti-tank-weapons-are-turning-up-in-isis-hands/5647173
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And here's an alarming story about Canada - a story that never has and never will make most Canadian newspapers.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/hassan-diab-nothing-less-than-a-public-inquiry-will-do-canadas-complicity/5647155
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The denial of climate change is strongest among those of conservative leanings - like American Republicans - and those who have a big stake in  the oil industry. (seemingly, greed and ignorance go  hand in hand.). Here's a long but interesting discussion of the issue.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/07/12/the-sinister-underbelly-of-climate-change-denial/

It's real. And we don't know how quickly we need to address this problem. But instead, the oil barons whose greed limits them to short term planning have determined that instead of coping with the profound and numerous issues facing us we need to fight more wars and sell more weapons at high profits.

In 1945, we were told we were embarking on a new world of democracy, brotherhood.... Instead, our billionaires have placed us on a treadmill of war and plunder. We have done virtually nothing that we told our soldiers, sailors and airmen they were fighting and dying for. And, at this rate, there is no way we can deal with the monstrous issues of climate change in time.

Thank, among others, your local oil billionaires.
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Dr. Roberts is one of the world's more intelligent news analysts.

https://off-guardian.org/2018/07/12/the-view-of-russia-in-the-west/
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Here is some useful background reading.

https://off-guardian.org/2018/07/09/how-the-u-s-government-lies-about-syria-ukraine/
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An evil target of our western 'heroes'. And it's all for the good work of feeding billionaires.

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/syrian-baby-malnutrition-crisis/
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https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/humans-destroyed-83-of-wildlife-report/

I'm sure that if we all pitch in we can destroy a hundred percent in no time.
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Another story not important enough to make our irving press.

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/tiny-house-warriors-pipeline-indigenous-protest/
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When the irving press published its gushing commentary about the joys of fracking for natural gas, it didn't mention this story.

https://theintercept.com/2018/07/07/eliza-griswold-book-excerpt/
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Given the existence of so many nuclear stockpiles, I doubt that it makes very little difference whether any army is better than others. American news media speak of nothing but the magnificent record of American armies though, in fact, the American performance, for all its weaponry, has not been impressive over the past seventy years.  And in World War 2, it was mostly the Russians who defeated Hitler.

https://thesaker.is/book-review-losing-military-supremacy-the-myopia-of-american-strategic-planning-by-andrei-martyanov/
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It has not been a good day for me in reading the press. Much, like Trump's ultimatum to Europe and his sudden interest in meeting Putin, isn't really understandable yet. Indeed, I often found myself at a loss to determine what the news was really all about.
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...the oldest and earliest empires.

Many thousands of years ago, the first of the societies we call civilizations needed some form of government. But they didn't get to choose it. No. That power was seized by the strongest fighters who made themselves kings and emperors, and made the next down the line aristocrats.

From start, the kings, emperors and aristocrats followed the same track. They assumed that they were a superior breed. The rest? They were good only for cheap labour and paying taxes.

Rome was typical. As the empire grew, profits flew into the pockets of emperors and aristocrats. Their feasts were magnificent. But the people of Rome came to live in the most terrible poverty, begging for scraps of food and, when dead, dumped in huge, mass pits with a stench that can still be detected.

And the power was eternal. Even the most stupid of sons could become an emperor or an aristocrat - and usually did.The same was true of the kings and aristocrats of the medieval age and later. 

And 'democracy' changed nothing.

Its kings and aristocrats were the products of a new age whose wealth was based on commerce and industry. It was called capitalism. The rules were simple. Capitalists made - and kept - as much as they could. That was their only purpose.

Samples of such wars?  Iraq. Syria.World War 1. World War 2. Korea. Afghanistan. Throughout history, almost all wars have been fought to benefit kings and aristocrats. Our news media tell us they're fought because the other side is evil. But that's because our news media are mostly owned by our kings and aristocracy of capitalism.

Wars have always been fought to satisfy greed.The added danger today is that the wealthy don't pay taxes. (In the U.S. that's a loss of over a trillion dollars every year.)

(And no, World War 2 was not fought because Hitler was evil - though he certainly was but, in fact, big business in the western world had largely supported Hitler until the end of the 1930s when he became a threat to their profits. 

Like the aristocracy of Rome, the aristocracy of big business see themselves as superior to the rest of us, though a high proportion are billionaires simply because they were born that way. Think Trump.The Rockefellers have been super wealthy for well over a century. And no family produces uniform babies of intelligence over that span.

This arrogance and self-interest is the greatest danger facing our world. Capitalism can work for the benefit of all of us if, like all systems should be, it is controlled by us through law and democracy. But it's not.  And without that popular control it is mindlessly greedy, murderous and destructive.

This is not something that might happen. It has happened. And it's the outstanding social  challenge of our time.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

July 7: A hurried job....

I am  having a terrible time on today's blog. Twice I have erased all I had written. And I don't even know how it happened. I also lost a very lengthy piece I had written about the greatest danger we face - the crushing of democracy by big business such as oil. These are the new aristocracy - a privileged and monstrously greedy group whose only purpose - like the old aristocracy - is wealth and power.

It's a pattern that has run throughout recorded history - a group whose only concern is itself, it's sense of privilege and superiority, and it's contempt for all the rest of humanity.

The U.S. is now governed entirely by that group with the result that American poverty, now at  40% and rising is the highest in the developed world. And basic services - like education and health - are being destroyed. Canada, alas, is run by much the same breed.

Alas - it also happens on the day when I have  to go the shore for my annual family reunion. So today's may be a short blog. (I wrote the part about our new aristocracy last night, and got up early to add the part that, with the part about our news aristocracy, was meant to be today's blog. - Yes. I am crying.)

So today's blog may be short.

Damn!
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/07/khan-al-ahmar-west-bank-bedouin-village-facing-destruction
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/05/canada-heatwave-montreal-deaths

The death count for Quebec is actually 52. And this heat wave is happening all over the U.S. and around much of the world. But, hey! Not to worry. If this were any sort of danger our church-going oil bosses would certainly deal with it. Yes. Trust our new aristocracy.
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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/06/britain-heatwave-worse-to-come-water-climate-chan

Wow! If we didn't have the leadership of our oil bosses and of the politicians in the Conservative and Liberal parties that they own, I'd be worried.
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http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/07/what-misogyny-looks-when-you-wear-hijab
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http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/07/trumps-family-separation-policy-inflicts-pain-and-fuels-hate
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The Israeli lobby is a very, very powerful force in Canadian and American politics. Though Jews in North America are becoming increasingly critical of Israel, the Israeli lobby makes sure we hear nothing about it.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/07/trudeau-hesitates-funding-solar-panels-gaza-hospitals

And if Palestinians have to die for lack of hospital facilities - though luck.
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Despite the promise, Latin American children are being held apart from their parents and in prison condition - and this will go on for a long time. This is what is called, among other things, racism. Hitler would have understood it perfectly.

https://countercurrents.org/2018/07/07/trauma-continues-for-immigrant-children-in-us-detention/
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/07/07/mediterranean-sea-the-largest-graveyard-in-modern-history/

Well, it's their own fault. If they'd had the wit to be born western billionaires, the seas would be covered in yachts to save them.
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/05/26/incompatibility-of-capitalism-and-life/
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The U.S. puts trade bans on countries like Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela - and country that displeases American capitalists. The purpose is to impoverish them. It's also illegal - just like all the wars the U.S. fights. How do American governments justify this illegal behaviour? By the deep-rooted belief that America has the right to rule the world, the only nation in the world to have that right. This goes way back to a concept of America as God's favourite nation with a right to rule the world. It's called Manifest Destiny - and it's the justification for constant wars since  1945. Warning to Canadians - Canada is a part of America's Manifest Destiny.

https://news.antiwar.com/2018/07/06/iran-wants-world-powers-to-fully-compensate-them-for-us-sanctions/
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Russia is setting the terms for peace in Syria! This is one tremendous blow at American influence in the Middle East.

http://theantimedia.com/syrian-rebels-deal-russia/
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https://medium.com/@inkind/costa-rica-becomes-the-first-nation-to-ban-fossil-fuels-a180691daae4

Costa Rica is the first nation in the world to ban fossil fuels? That can't be. We all know America leads the world in everything.
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We are living through the age of the big grab.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/05/global-1-seize-economys-gains-unprecedented-wage-stagnation-everyone-else
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It's a time of manifest destiny for the greedy.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/05/pruitt-gone-no-happy-ending-planet-coal-lobbyist-andrew-wheeler-takes-over-epa
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The American debt that will never be paid.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49782.htm
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https://www.globalresearch.ca/china-the-largest-cheap-labor-factory-in-the-world/5431349
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https://consortiumnews.com/2018/07/04/america-celebrates-lateral-move-from-monarchy-to-corporate-rule/
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Capitalism moved into Congo about 150 years ago. Since then it has known nothing but mass murder, torture, starvation, slave labour, child labour, and utter indifference to human needs. It began as a Belgian horror which has since been joined by British, American and Canadian capitalists.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/07/06/congos-imposter-president-and-the-moral-depravity-of-the-west/

Think of that while you listen to the word of God (as explained by the most expensive clergy) at the irving chapel this Sunday.
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https://theintercept.com/2018/07/07/dupont-carneys-point-chambers-works-chemours/
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Sorry this has been such a hurried edition. In fact, I don't even have time to proof read it as my lift is  here.

And I've just had a flash of thinking about Jesus as a member of the Trump cabinet or, in Canada,  as a leader of the Conservatives or the Liberals. Yes, I can see it all now.......                                               

Thursday, July 5, 2018

July 5: Bad News. Wimpy public

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/mexico-president-lopez-obrador-security-1.4732452

The new president of Mexico is a brave man. I can't remember any American president of  the past century who has ventured in public without a mass of agents as guards.
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/04/trump-suggested-invading-venezuela-report

Of course there's poverty and violence in Venezuela. The U.S. sanctions on Venezuela have created those conditions. And this decision may make it far as he now has a much more vicious cabinet. The U.S. has had a serious of murderous
governments since that Afghanistan and Iraq war. And it now has one more
murderous than them.
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And here's an idea you'll never see in the irving press.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/30/minimum-wage-maximum-wage-income-inequality

It makes a lot of sense. For almost fifty years, we have watched the salaries of the wealthy rise like a rocket. And the only place that can come from is the low salaries of everybody else.
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/03/doug-ford-scraps-carbon-tax-plan-and-sets-up-climate-fight-with-trudeau

I can't help noticing that all the leaders who deny that climate change is happening are people of little scientific education. An example of the type is Kelly McParland, a columnist in today's irving press. He attacks the clergy for it's preaching about the dangers of climate change. And the reality?

 1.No such significant movement has occurred in our churches.

2. Even if it did, why on earth should clergy not have the right to take a position?
3. Mr. McParland, apart from calling people names, offers no evidence whatever that climate change is not happening.

I amazed that even the irving press which is surely one of the world's most contemptible could stoop to a column of such ignorance.
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http://gwynnedyer.com/2018/if-the-model-is-broken-fix-it/
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Poverty is on the rise. Super wealth is on the rise. So much for the irving press line that capitalists make us all rich.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/05/global-1-seize-economys-gains-unprecedented-wage-stagnation-everyone-else
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The situation in Canada is much the same as in the U.S. In both countries, governments help the very rich to plunder the nation.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/04/where-did-tax-benefits-trump-promised-average-americans-go-straight-big-oil-big

In Canada as in the U.S., the wealthy don't pay taxes. And they don't pay a penny for the wars we fight for them. Americans and Canadians often get all sentimental about our war heroes who risk their lives ---to make billionaires richer. Doesn't The Canadian Legion ever think about this? Do they think Canadians died in World War Two so that Canadians could die fighting a war for American capitalists in Korea? And Afghanistan? And so that heroic Canadian pilots could bomb a virtually defenceless Libya? Oh, and so Canadian soldiers could make the U.S. overthrow of an elected government in Haiti look like the creation of democracy?
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Here's a story that didn't make the irving press. (It needed the space for a really big story that the town of Shediac has just created the world's largest lobster roll.)

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/05/vowing-continue-fierce-opposition-protesters-end-35-hour-aerial-blockade-trans
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49783.htm
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It  looks as though the war in Syria is over. al-Assad, with the support of Russia, has won. Assad also clearly has majority support in Syria. Both the U.S. and Israel have had to back off. The U.S. has become a loser and Russia a major winner in the region.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49785.htm

And 400,000 Syrians have been murdered by Moslem terrorists with American help.
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This next column is not really a satisfactory read. I include it because it makes a little-known point. One important reason the American revolution was fought was to maintain slavery. The British Empire of the 1770s was drifting rapidly toward freeing the slaves. So it's not a coincidence that George Washington was the biggest slaveholder in America.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/alberta-diary/2018/07/independence-day-moment-canadians-recommit-being-different-us
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https://countercurrents.org/2018/07/05/trump-using-separated-children-to-force-voluntary-deportations/
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Somehow, this is not a surprise.

https://countercurrents.org/2018/07/05/israel-is-arming-neo-nazis-in-ukraine/
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Nor is this.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/07/05/corporate-medias-about-face-on-ukraines-neo-nazis/
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I know the Doug Fords and Donald Trumps and oil barons of this world say it isn't happening. But our climate is changing And that will affect food supply for all of us.

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/india-might-have-to-stop-growing-rice/
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https://greedmedia.com/not-just-the-world-cup-all-time-global-heat-records-set-last-week/

The irving press which had lots of space for a half-wit commentary on Christian clergy who speak about climate change had no space for the article above.
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http://theantimedia.com/israel-annexation-west-bank/
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This next opinion will certainly meet criticism. But it does explain the failure of the most expensive military in world history to defeat even third rate countries - like Afghanistan, Vietnam, Syria.....

https://thesaker.is/book-review-losing-military-supremacy-the-myopia-of-american-strategic-planning-by-andrei-martyanov/
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Here's a story that goes way back. The irvings face serious charges of misbehaviour in their conduct of railway traffic.  Funny thing, though. The two-fisted reporters of irving press haven't said a word about it. Clark Kents they ain't.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/southern-railway-case-delay
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https://thewalrus.ca/the-historical-roots-of-trumps-anger-with-canada/

I'm not sure I fully agree with this one. But Americans do seem obsessed with the idea that they should rule the world 
and, in many circles, that it is God's wish that they should do so.
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We've never seen this world so insanely dominated by greed. The major American defence -perhaps the only real 
American defence - And one is its nuclear arsenal. And that is the arsenal whose use would trigger many thousands\
 of nuclear attacks all over the world. And anyone who could think that killing several billion people  is the answer to 
anything is insane.

But there are people who believe that.

And there are people who are quite happy to risk the destruction of  our planet for the sake of oil profits. Whatever 
else capitalism might do it has destroyed rational thought in our major powers.

But none of this matters in New Brunswick. The population is effectively wiped out as a thinking body. Most of the
news media have taken care of that. Nobody who reads the irving press can have the faintest idea of what is
going on in  the world - or even in New Brunswick. That's why both the Liberals and the Conservatives are simply 
tools for the irvings and friends.

Nor is this the only wimpy province in Canada. Ontario has just elected a premier who is its Donald Trump. New
Brunswick has a Liberal leader who just lets the world flow by. And it has a Conservative leader who would and
will kiss any rear end for a buck. He would certainly introduce the fracking he is not talking about. (The irving
press has clearly been supporting him. And it doesn't support anybody unless the boss says so.)

Along with all of this, recent American behaviour is shattering its old alliances with the rest of the western world.
The U.S. is also losing its hold on Asia and Africa. And an America in such decline is going to be a very, very 
dangerous neighbour. And  yes, the effect of all this will be felt even in Little Upsyduck, New Brunswick.

For Christ's sake, New Brunswick, and for the sake of you and your children, wake up.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July3: It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry...

A story that won't make the irving press.

//www.haaretz.com/us-news/85-year-old-rabbi-arrested-during-trump-immigration-policy-protest-1.6222744
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/03/mediterranean-migrants-drown-three-days-libya-italy

Maybe if our capitalists stopped killing these people in their countries, they'd stop fleeing and drowning.
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It's too early yet to cheer. But some American voters might be waking up.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/02/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-democratic-politics
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/02/iran-mek-cult-terrorist-trump-allies-john-bolton-rudy-giuliani

How soon we forget. The last time the U.S. interfered with Iran was to destroy a democratically elected government, and install a brutal dictatorship. Now, they're bringing democracy. Yeah. That's how our news media will run it. The reality is that the U.S., since 1900 or so has been the world's biggest destroyer of democracies.
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https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/gallery/2018/jul/02/10-crises-millions-flee-world-looks-away-in-pictures

None of these stories has reached the pages of the irving press. It's not as if they're new. Congo has been suffering mass murder, torture, starvation, exploitation from western capitalists for almost a hundred and fifty years. Millions have been killed by hunger and western guns.
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https://off-guardian.org/2018/07/02/america-is-one-dollar-one-vote-not-one-person-one-vote/

The U.S. is ruled by an unelected aristocracy which rules only to benefit itself. Much the same is true of Canada, especially insofar as the Liberal and Conservative parties are concerned.
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https://off-guardian.org/2018/07/01/trumpet-to-war-spectators-and-pragmatistsat-their-own-execution/
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Former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper has paid a diplomatic visit to the White House. He has no more right to do that than you or I do. He is no longer an elected official. Nobody in our elected government approved his visit or even knew about it. The is arrogance and, potentially, very dangerous arrogance.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/alberta-diary/2018/06/do-we-need-canadian-version-logan-act-put-stop-dangerous

Funny the irving press never even noticed it.
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https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/07/02/update-2018-more-evidence-half-americans-are-or-near-poverty

Gee! Ain't it wonderful what capitalism can do? The poverty rate in Canada is about 14%, and New Brunswick, in contradiction of today's column in the irving press by Norbert Cunningham, is not the province worst off.  In fact, it's quite average. ( Yes. New Brunswickers are being ripped off by their very wealthy. But so are the other provinces.)
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49769.htm
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Another story that hasn't appeared in New Brunswick's irving press - and won't.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/end-immigration-detention-in-canada-an-open-letter/5646285
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The Canadian government lies just as much as the American government does.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/global-affairs-canada-statement-represents-a-complete-disconnect-from-realities-on-the-ground-in-syria-tacit-endorsement-of-al-qaeda/5645944
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The irving press regularly publishes columns about how we should love our billionaires because they create jobs and make us all wealthy. And that's a crock. They do create jobs. But overall, billionaires cost us money. They don't pay income tax. Often, they don't pay property tax, either. And they routinely expect us to give them expensive favours. The truth is that the wealthy make us poor. That's why the U.S., with the biggest and richest capitalists in the world, also has such a high poverty rate. And that's why new Brunswick is poorer than it should be.

And that's why it's owners think it a great idea to have the irving press to lie for them.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/how-billionaires-become-billionaires/5612125
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The next reading is VERY long. But it's an interesting psychiatric examination of Donald Trump and some of his circle - like John Bolton.

https://countercurrents.org/2018/07/03/a-psychological-evaluation-of-donald-trump/
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https://greedmedia.com/melania-trump-raked-in-up-to-1m-for-photos-licensed-only-for-positive-stories/
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And it's nice to see Christians acting like Christians.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/christ-church-cathedral-puts-jesus-mary-joseph-in-cage-protest-ice-detentions/
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About 2000, I was invited by Canada's Conservative government to be a member of a committee that would plan events for a national celebration of The War of 1812. I went to one meeting, realized this would be controlled by a bunch of government hacks, and pulled out. And as the celebrations happened, I never had reason to regret my decision.

This next item is long one. But it's a good one for anyone interested in that war.

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2018/07/02/the-forgotten-and-peculiar-war-of-1812/
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This next is the most astonishing analysis of Trump's policies I have ever seen. Frankly, I don't know what to make of it. Alas! It also has huge gaps in it, so it's hard to understand how it would work in practice. Still, it does explain some of Trump's behaviour.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article201778.html
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There are two ways to govern. One is by determining the needs of the whole society, and working to meet those needs. The other is by encouraging the greed of a few, meeting their needs on the theory the benefits will work their way down. The latter is the editorial policy of the irving press. And it doesn't work. It never has worked.

Capitalism is a system based on greed. The only purpose of the capitalist is to make money for himself. For all the capitalist (and irving press) talk of how this benefits all of us, it isn't true. The greed of capitalists is the cause of almost all wars. That's why the U.S. has made such a mess of the middle east. That's why Canadian and American capitalists plunder and impoverish Latin Americans. That's why, in the U.S., poverty is dangerously high.

Capitalism ran loose in the world well into the 20th century. Then it plunged us all into the horror of the great depression. And, in those dreadful years of the 1930s, capitalists and the governments they owned did almost nothing to ease the suffering. We had better years in the 1940s, 1950's, 1960s... but greed has come back to rule.

The U.S. has murdered many millions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, Syria, Guatemala. And all with the same reason - to plunder those countries for the benefit of American capitalists.  Britain and France, especially Britain, ran capitalist empires in their day. But their days in the sun are over, so now they have to scramble to kiss up to U.S. capitalists.

Capitalists are so powerful that they, not the public, set the agendas for most countries. That is what has given us endless wars since 1945. That is what has caused monstrous suffering and death. That is why we have tens of millions of refugees.

Meanwhile, we have to deal with the greatest threats the world has ever seen. We have constant wars which have made it impossible to deal with our real problems. One of those problems is oil which is creating climate change. The oil barons assure us it's not - which is why Trump refuses to deal with it.

You think it's not happening? Okay. Then you're in the same camp as greedy old men of no particular education. Opposed to them are the world's leading scientists - as well as our own observation of climate warnings -Arctic meltdowns. and increasingly violent and destructive weather patterns.

Instead of dealing with that problem, we spend our time fighting wars - paid for by us but not by the billionaires who don't pay taxes - at world record costs. Those costs have to come from you and me - and they happen at the expense of medical care, education, food and housing, adequate pensions....(but don't worry. The wealthy aren't suffering.)

Tied to that is the destructiveness of modern weapons. In nuclear and chemical warfare, we are far, far beyond the destructiveness of World War 2. Forget all the gab about heroes and patriotism and the Queen. It is a certainty that the next major war would destroy the world. Even if we didn't get bombed (and we would get bombed), we would be living on an Earth no longer habitable, and swarming with dreadfully deformed people.

The U.S. is currently testing super nukes. So is Russia. This is insane. This is an issue we should have dealt with in 1945. We didn't. We should be dealing with climate change. We aren't.  Almost all of our time and spending has gone for weapons to be used in a war that none of us would survive.

As it is, we can afford to spray our forest  (and our animals and ourselves) with a chemical considered dangerous in medical circles. We can afford to let billionaires skip billions on taxes - and to let them get generous handouts whenever they ask for them. (Our news media assure us that capitalism is good because it creates jobs. What a crock that is! If capitalism created jobs, we'd all be getting richer instead of poorer. And Latin Americans would be rolling in wealth.)

Capitalism can work. But it can work only if it has strong oversight and controls from the rest of us. Instead, we've allowed it to run loose and, oh, it's murderous - murderous, cruel, degrading, destructive....

Here, in New Brunswick, we face an election in which both major parties are owned by capitalism, and most of the news we get comes from sources controlled by capitalism. That's why the Liberal and the Conservatives have no sense whatever of the social values that an effective government must have. And most voters have no idea of those social values because the Liberals and Conservatives and most of the news media don't even know what 'social values' means.

We also risk descending into what has happened to the U.S. People get disgusted with their government; but instead of seriously learning about alternatives, they vote for the person who expresses their hates. And those usually take a racist form. It's what Hitler won on. It's what Trump won on. It's what Doug Ford of Ontario won on.

All over Europe and North America we're seeing a racism that ignores the real problem of a capitalism running loose, and with that racism and capitalism operating on the greatest pile of weapons the earth has ever known.

We blew it. We blew all the things we could have done after World War Two. Instead, we threw everything away to satisfy the most greedy and irresponsible people of this world, and we're now running along the path to our own destruction.

Alas, the churches aren't much better. The very institutions that should be providing moral leadership are, as usual, ignoring it. Oh, they will get all excited about abortion. But the righteous don't approve of it. But they have no problem with starving babies and children to death in Yemen and bombing innocent civilians into splinters all over the world

The apostle Matthew said that it was no more possible for a rich man to see God than it was for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. Evidently, rich men now have open house with God. Still tough on camels though.

Uncontrolled capitalism is the most vicious, most greedy and most dangerous force this world has ever seen. And we have very, very little time to get control of it.
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For comic relief, I read the irving press every day. Today's lead story looked gripping.... "DFO mulled less harsh fishery measures: Docs". Under it was a bold red banner with the word Exclusive. Yes. The only place in the world you could get this story was in the irving press. And what is the story?

Well, a government committee was formed to shut down any Canadian fisheries in areas that were dangerous for the survival of the Right Whales. And the big news as expressed in the headline? Duh. The committee considered some ideas less demanding than others - and some more demanding than others.

That's it folks. Gee! Isn't that what all such committees are supposed to do? And for this we get a lead story with an "Exclusive" label?

deAdder has his usual pointless cartoon to say he doesn't like Liberals. (That means the owner doesn't like them.) Norbert Cunningham writes about how St. John is in trouble because of it's debt. He says it's okay, though, because we can follow the sage advice of professors few people have ever heard of. One big idea is for the province to pay off St. John's debt. Brilliant - except...

The reason St. John is in debt is because the irvings pay very, very little municipal taxes. So we're all going to get hit because the irvings, just as they don't pay income taxes, aren't big on paying municipal taxes, either. In other words, capitalism which already drains off our money is now going to drain off even more.  Funny how none of those 'experts' on finance mentioned that.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

June 30: Evil Us?

The story that  you will never see in the irving press.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/cra-tax-gap-foreign-holdings-1.4726983

240 billion dollars. Now do you understand why governments have to go over budget? Now do you understand why our schools and hospitals don't have enough money? Now do you understand why our children have to go deeply into debt for years to go to university?

And in the U.S., where greed reigns, it's much, much worse.
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Russia Times is, like Russia Today, propaganda for Russia. And, like Russia Today, it doesn't look at the  faults of Russia - just those of the west. But, knowing that, it is better than most western news media because the part that it does tell is true - unlike almost all western news media.

In this case, the writer is a VERY distinguished and knowledgeable American journalist, scholar and clergyman.

https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/america-shows-many-signs-impending-catastrophic-collapse-pulitzer-prize-winner-explains

And this is exactly what is happening. And it's happening in Canada, too.
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/thenational/national-today-newsletter-us-gun-violence-1.4722108
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The next is not an important story. But there's an amusing angle to it.

Many, many Montrealers move on July 1. This article treats it as though it were a French tradition.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/jun/29/montreal-moving-day-what-happens-when-a-whole-city-moves-house-at-once

But 1 - it's not a tradition of any sort to move on July 1. And 2 - it has nothing to do with Quebec being French. I know that because I lived in Montreal, and from the age of 6 I helped my father move us each May 1, carrying furniture through the streets, and always to a place just a block or so away.

Once, BBC TV contacted me to do a broadcast on what this odd practice was all about. So I did. And it's not a French tradition.

It's Scottish. Two or three hundred years ago, most Scottish farms were rented. A moving family had to be settled in as early as possible to prepare for the planting. So May 1 was the chosen day. In the  19th century, the major landlords of Montreal were Scottish. So they continued the practice. (The same was true in some American cities. I believe Boston was one of them.)

Why was it moved to July 1? That's very recent - and it may well have been a separatist slap in the face at Canada Day.
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It's a big mistake to think of the Israeli government's vicious treatment of Palestinians, its murders of protesters, its theft of Palestinian land, its cruelty toward Palestine as being a reflection of Judaic values. Many, many Jews condemn what Israel is doing.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/29/israelis-call-world-intervene-behalf-palestinians
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All imperial powers have a history of unspeakable brutality.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jun/30/british-intelligence-officers-linked-to-man-waterboarded-83
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Europe and the U.S. have a long history of racism and brutality in dealing with refugees - especially refugees created by U.S. and European racism and brutality.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/29/angela-merkel-refugee-crisis-drown

And, no. Canada is not pure.
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This next one is profoundly depressing to me. But it's common that aid given to poor countries by rich ones ends up in the pockets of the wealthy friends of the rich country. The U.S., for example, voted huge aid packages to rebuild  Iraq where shattered schools got a slap of paint, nothing more, at monstrous cost. That sort of of thing has happened all over Latin America and Africa.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/gerry-caplans-blog/2018/06/canada-sends-military-force-mali
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An American invasion of Venezuela is quite possible. Coincidence - Venezuela has the largest oil deposits in the world. And the government of Venezuela is foolish enough to believe this should be used for the benefit of the people of Venezuela.

And Canadian cooperation with the U.S. in this is quite possible.

https://countercurrents.org/2018/06/29/venezuela-towards-an-economy-of-resistance/
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This is a huge story that I certainly have not seen in the irving press. If accurate, it is a major defeat for the U.S. (And Robert Fisk is a pretty accurate news man.)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49740.htm

Once again, the biggest and most expensive military in the world has been defeated. (Remember Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan). And, if so, this is a huge setback for American influence.

And a thought. The U.S. since 1945 has been determined to make the whole world an American empire. But ever since then,  and despite it massive military budget, huge army and air force, and world leading navy, it cannot win conventional wars, even against small opponents.

That is a powerful temptation for nuclear war - as Trump has already threatened against North Korea.
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Why are people fleeing Latin America?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49748.htm

What is really needed is a wall to keep American capitalists and American armies out of Latin America.
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49748.htm
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Almost a hundred and twenty years ago, Canada sent troops to kill South Africans  - including thousands of children and women in families that Canadian troops were responsible for.  We celebrated the Canadians on their return. They were patriots. They had served the king. They were glorious.

They were no such thing. They had murdered innocent people to produce bigger profits for already wealthy British businessmen. In Afghanistan, we sent 'patriots' and celebrated them with 'highways of heroes'. But this time it was to serve the greed of American billionaires.

We have been all too eager to kiss up to the wealthy and greedy.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/global-affairs-canada-statement-represents-a-complete-disconnect-from-realities-on-the-ground-in-syria-tacit-endorsement-of-al-qaeda/5645944
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https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/06/29/move-over-god/

Obviously, he's not a New Brunswick Christian clergyman.
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https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/arctic-is-turning-into-the-atlantic/
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Let's skip the details that news requires. The big, untold story is that we cannot survive the direction we have chosen. That was  obvious at the end of World War Two.

Then and later we were faced with some huge problems.

1. We saw - or should have seen - that the destructiveness of modern weapons made most future war impossible.

And we did nothing about it because our corporation bosses wanted war to increase their profits and to extend their power.

2. We've known about climate change for at least thirty years now. We know it can destroy us. We know we have little time to deal with it. And we don't lift a finger. And news media like the irving press pretends it doesn't exist. Why? Because big oil doesn't want us to interfere with it. That would hurt it's profits.
Is that a brainless position for big oil to take?  Of course. But big oil has never been known for anything but big greed.

3. We have created massive unrest and growing poverty all over the world. Thus the many and uncounted millions of refugees today. That unrest has been created largely by the greed of capitalism.  Thus the refugees drowning in the waters off Africa, and the Latin American children in American concentration camps.

4. We have created crippling conditions of spreading poverty even in  countries like the U.S. and Canada. And it's going to get much, much worse soon as big business (and the governments it owns) refuses to deal with the spread of automation in the work place. It should mean shorter hours and better pay for the average worker. But that's not going to happen because big business doesn't want it to happen.

5. The advances we have made - as in education, medicare, pensions - are in serious danger. Big capitalism is determined to either destroy or take over these.

These are just five of the monstrous and urgent issues facing us. And we're not doing a thing about any of them. I checked my irving press today....

The lead, front page story is about a boy who was killed in a hit and run accident 13 years ago. The point of the story? His mother misses him.

Yes, this is sad. But it isn't news. It tells us nothing we can do anything about. There's no lesson in it. There's no remedy. A mother is sad about the death of a child?  Of course, she is.  There are thousands of people like this in New Brunswick.  This is a sad story. But it's not news. This is what in the days of honest journalism used to be called a sob story. And it's almost a daily feature of the irving press.

As I follow the provincial election news, I still have no idea of the principles that the two, major parties represent - and not much about the other parties.

The big, world news? Well, a Canadian soldier died in a swimming accident in Ontario. Yemen? Iran? Israeli snipers killing a 13 year old Palestinian boy? U.S. collapsing in Syria? Refugees fleeing wars and starvation drowning as they try to escape? U.S. preparing war in Venezuela? Who cares? Our irving press aren't newspapers; they're sleeping pills.
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I am sure there are readers who think I'm exaggerating when I write of the dangerous times we have entered. I wish I were exaggerating. But here are some of the factors in it.

For nearly 500 years, the western world (that's all us Christians) has dominated most of the rest of the world. It has killed uncounted millions - in war and in the horrible abuse, torture, starvation, exploitation of its imperial victims. Nobody will ever know the full number. Tens of millions were deliberately starved to death in China, in India, in the Philippines, in Latin America, in Africa. It's still going on. And we sang songs to celebrate the killing - like "Land of Hope and Glory"....

All of this slaughter and theft and abuse did nothing for most of the people of Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, the U.S..... No. The profits (or loot) went to a small number at the top.

The one doing most of the killing lately is the U.S.;  but the backroom boys of Britain and France still jump in to lick American boots.

The abuse and killing has all been to enrich a very small number of people, the ones we call the big capitalists. Very little of it crept down to the rest of us. British landowners quite deliberately allowed Irish families to starve to death in the potato famine - though there was plenty of food available to feed them.  From 1800 or so, the British were swept off their farms to work in dangerous mines and factories from childhood, and for very small return.  Factory cities were normally vile and filthy and wretched and violent like The Gorbals of Edinburgh  where my grandmother was born. It happened in the U.S. and Canada, too. Well into the early part of the twentieth century and all over the western world, workers were treated like filth, paid as little as possible - and died young. Strikers would be beaten, shot by troops. And that happened in the U.S. and Canada as well.

To this day, the "wealthy" U.S. has over 40% of its population living in deep poverty. Any social services have come only under great pressure. (In the U.S. there are almost none. Indeed, even the prisons are privatizing with terrible results for the prisoners - in a U.S. which has far the biggest prison population in the world. In Canada, we have some services - like medicare and public education. But they are under threat from Canadian capitalists who, with the help of propaganda rags like the irving press, want to privatize them for private profit.)

What's behind all this, of course, is human greed and arrogance. That has always been with us. But it's taken on an even more dangerous form with big capitalism.
Capitalism is based on greed. It's only purpose is to take while giving back as little as possible.

Capitalism has always been associated with war, too. For centuries, we have sent our people off to war "to fight for the Queen", "for love of country"... But wars are almost never fought for those reasons. Almost all of them are fought to satisfy the greed of the very wealthy. The Boer War was fought to steal South African gold mines. World War One was fought to maintain the economic dominance of Britain against a rising Germany. So was World War Two.

(Yes, I know Hitler was evil. But that wasn't why the war was fought. In fact, most western capitalists just loved Hitler because he would stop communism. Many backed him right to the end of 1941. Britain and France declared war only because, by 1939, he was being too successful in building Germany's economic power. Yes. I know he was murdering Jews. But none of the western powers, including Canada, gave a damn about that. Indeed, in Britain, Canada and the U.S. Jews were hated, especially by the very wealthy and the aristocracy. Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson were not the only Nazi enthusiasts in the Royal Family and the British aristocracy.)

The U.S. has invaded over 71 countries since 1945. The ONLY legal reason for invasion is if the target country is a threat to  your country. For most of the period since 1945,NO country has been a threat to the U.S. Nobody attacked it. Nobody was in a position to attack it. So why were all those countries invaded and people murdered? It was so American capitalists could make money out of them and out of the resources of their countries.

There's really no doubt about it. Capitalism is a strong incentive to mass murder. It recognizes no limitations to murder and exploitation. This is not an empty accusation. We have centuries of evidence of it. In Canada, it was capitalism that destroyed our native peoples. That's why Canada sent troops to our West to kill Metis and native peoples - to clear the way for capitalist development.

And all the benefits of the killing stay with the  capitalists. Again, there's no doubt about it. Big capitalists create poverty. That's most obvious is in Latin America and Africa. But it also explains the shockingly high rate of poverty in the U.S. It also explains why New Brunswick governments go into debt. It's because the big capitalists of the world, including New Brunswick, don't pay taxes - and they expect lots of government handouts.

They also, of course, have access to corrupt politicians. That's why, in the U.S., it's obvious that big capitalists own the governments. In fact, they ARE the governments. That is what has created two thoroughly corrupt parties. But most Americans, shackled by generations of propaganda about American 'democracy', have no sense of alternatives. The result, with Trump, was an election he won on what was essentially a vote against rather than for anything.  That was the reason why Hitler targetted the Jews. He really had nothing to offer. So he had to attract the "voting against" people. Ontario has just done the same with electing Doug Ford.

The situation in Canada, among Liberals and Conservatives, for corruption is much like that in the U.S. And Canadians, too, really don't have much sense of the need to have parties of some moral stature.

This is what has taken the world into 70 years of wars, not one of which had any justification. And it's even worse than it used to be. Up to World War 2, capitalists at least paid some of the cost of their wars. Now, they don't. The rest of us have to pay the bills - and take the risk getting killed.

So where is this taking us?

That's a story for next time.